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One Day in Napa 

I will be honest with you… It wasn’t even one day in Napa, it was less than ten hours. Coming from Pacifica, it was about an hour and forty five minute drive to the first Winery- Laird Family Estate and then a twelve minute drive to Ackerman Family Vineyard. We had a slow start to our day since we left the house around late afternoon, but we wanted to use our time wisely as we only had one day in Napa. We arrived at the first winery and just did wine by the glass at 3pm. After that glass, we hopped back in the car and did an hour wine tasting at 4pm to 5pm. All the wine was very good, however I still will always prefer red wine to white wine.

At Ackerman Family Vineyard, I was surprised by how much I liked the peachy white wine. Sometimes people mention how fruity they taste and I never taste it, but this time I did. I always enjoy dessert wine, but this white wine did the trick for me.

When you go wine tasting, there is a science to it. The “correct” way to do it is: look, sniff, swirl, sip. I’m not a professional by any means, so check out this article to find out more.

Don’t get me wrong… pour wine in front of me and I’ll drink it, and most likely enjoy it. I always love trying new wines to see how they taste and smell so one day in Napa is never a day wasted. This was a quick day trip, so if you find yourself crunching for time, it is always best to set reservations! Thank you cell phones!

Laird Family Estate

This is the typical winery I picture in my head when I hear “Napa”. There were a variety of tables to pick from with the view of the vineyard and mountains in the background. I did not take a picture, unfortunately, so I guess you have to see it for yourself! The staff was lovely and very helpful. We enjoyed one glass of wine in the comfy couches and soaked up the California sun. If you have more time to spend here, you can sit inside or outside. Along the hallway where you check in, there are cute little gifts you can look at and purchase, if desired. At this winery, we spent about $15 per glass of wine and bought a bottle for $60. After 45 minutes, we had to jump over to the other location. 

One day in Napa- Laird Estate
Front entrance to Laird Family Estate.

Ackerman Family Vineyards

Driving through a residential neighborhood, we were surprised to see the Ackerman House on the corner that also offers wine tastings! This location was fixed up by Lauren Ackerman very nicely. It is quiet, as it had trees and fences that kept it secluded although it was close to other houses. They also offer cooking classes, and hold events! I forget the max number, maybe 40?  For the wine tasting we tried 4 different wines, and bought two bottles to come home with us. For two tastings we spent $65 per person and for the wine we spent $130 for two bottles. 

Ackerman House
Ackerman- One day in Napa
4 different wines, my favorite was the Alavigna Tosca!

Porchfest at Ackerman Family Vineyards

Due to many business and events closing down from COVID-19, Porchfest is coming back to Napa where many people from all over the country come to taste wine, listen to music, and hang out like a local. Most houses offer their porches for bands to come play and it sounds like a great time to spend a summer weekend. We visited the second to last weekend in July, but we were told Porchfest happens the last weekend of July. Find out more here!

Dinner at C Casa Restaurant 

After wine tasting, we moseyed on over to check out Oxbow Public Market which has tons of food to choose from. We picked C Casa Restaurant which was decent for Latin cuisine. To share, we ordered the nachos with chicken which was packed with veggies and sour cream.  I enjoyed the Baja Fish Tacos, and a Mai Tai. My sister got the salad which she was not a fan of since it had anchovies on it. My mom ordered the Vegan Chili Verde Tofu that she also thought was delicious. To end our dinner, we got two Cafe Con Leches that were very yummy, and very rich in flavor. The service was decent, and it didn’t seem too busy for a Saturday evening- although we did sit outside and I’m not sure what the employees thought!

drinks- one day in napa
Mai Tai
c casa at oxbow market- one day in napa
Baja fish tacos
dessert- one day in napa
Cafe Con Leche

When in Napa

When you come to Napa, be prepared to spend money. I’m sure you find ways to do it cheaper like not buying bottles to take home, but that’s hard when you find ones you like! It is also very warm so dress for the sun and have a good time!

California Destinations North America United States

Coffee Shops in Pacifica

A small city outside of San Francisco, you’ll find Pacifica! This little beach town holds roughly 40,000 people and some coffee spot gems! I do not like spending a ton of money on coffee, as I view it more as a treat. But, if you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks on coffee, keep reading to find the best coffee shops in Pacifica! Here I have included three different cafes that have totally different vibes.

Coffee shops in Pacifica

After a few days of research and trying new coffee shops, I enjoyed these three places for different reasons. A quick list of the places I stopped at are: Beach Monkey, Pacific Java, and Soul Grind. Continue to the end to figure out my favorite spot!

Beach Monkey

This hidden gem is definitely a locals only place. Beach Monkey is tucked inside Linda Mar in a very small plaza. If you are not in a rush, and want to enjoy an Acai Bowl then you can sit either inside or outside. I visited late in the morning and experienced low waiting time. There’s a nice big table that sits about 6-8 people if you want to have a small business meeting, enjoy coffee and food with friends or family, or grab a coffee by yourself, this is the place to do it! The space is limited, but if it’s not busy it is a nice quiet spot to be. I ordered the Rockaway Acai Bowl, which was delicious. In addition, I had the Café Chai which was sweet like whip cream in it and it didn’t have a strong chai taste, so it was pretty perfect. I paid about $15 for the bowl and coffee.

Beach Monkey coffee shops in Pacifica
Rockaway Acai Bowl and Cafe Chai

Pacific Java 

Pacific Java is located in a more busy area. More busy than Beach Monkey, but not as busy as Soul Grind. As it is one of the stores in this plaza, it is less of a local spot than Beach Monkey. There are gift shops, restaurants, and a variety of stores to check out nearby. The great thing about this place is that it is close to the beach. You can sit inside (upstairs or downstairs), outside, or take your coffee to go and walk along the beach! If you want to see what’s going on in Pacifica for the week or month, there are tons of fliers and business cards on the wall next to the pastry display. I went later in the morning again and it wasn’t a long wait. There were a handful of people sitting inside, and outside as well. The coffee menu has a wide variety to choose from, and the food was limited to pastries and small sandwiches. I ordered the Turmeric Chai to bring back home. This cost me about $5.75 and it was nice to quench my thirst.

Pacific Java coffee shops in Pacifica
Behind me are the fliers about what’s happening in Pacifica!
tumeric chai pacifica coffee shops
Tumeric Chai

Soul Grind

Soul Grind coffee shop is always busy. This is where all the surfers park, and whether you’re a local or from out of town, this café is the place to go. For good reason too, because the coffee is always good. The food menu is filled with options like salads, sandwiches, pastries, and coffee. It has been an up and coming place, but the amount of people has never changed. I am so happy it survived the Pandemic where small businesses shut down. You’ll find a variety of people who do work on their laptops here, grab brunch with friends or family, or my favorite thing to do-  take the coffee and go for a walk on the beach. You have the option to sit inside or outside, as there’s tons of space so I’m sure you can find a spot to sit. Parking is a bit crazy, so if you go here, this is your warning that parking is hit or miss. They have merch like t-shirts that they sell as well which is a great way to support local businesses. I ordered the Cliffside coffee with Almond Milk so it came out to about $7. 

inside soul grind coffee shops in pacifica
Inside Soul Grind
Cliffside coffee

Support small coffee shops

The main reason I wanted to highlight these coffee shops in Pacifica is because they are all small businesses. Each place has its perks whether that’s being more secluded or being in the heart of what’s happening in this beach town. With Starbucks also being an option nearby and close to the same price as these other coffee shops, I hope you choose to support a small business café. I bet you’ll find it just as delicious and convenient as Starbucks, but hopefully more! You may also enjoy the things locals enjoy everyday. I understand some of these prices may be a bit much, but of course sizes vary and types of drinks vary. My favorite place is definitely Soul Grind since it’s so close to the beach and their coffee is always yummy.

coffee shops in pacifica

And for lunch, stop by the most beautiful Taco Bell in the world… located right on the beach!